Intersesting article

From a Software User's Perspective


Why is it that Microsoft's products keep mushrooming in size with each new release always requiring significantly more disk space and more processing power than the last time? They might claim it's because of all the new features they add each time, but that's only half the story. The new features and the increased processing requirements are designed to fuel the process of perpetual upgrades. This is Microsoft's way of rubbing Intel's back so that Intel will give Microsoft preferential treatment when it comes out with new chip specs. It's also Microsoft's way of convincing consumers that their newer product versions are better because they are so much bigger. Their new features are often superfluous but users must still deal with the overhead required by the features even though most will never use the features.

  • CNN has a good article which explains why bloat is such a bad thing. Unneeded features make products more cumbersome to use and the addition of new features often sacrifices the performance (and sometimes the integrity) of older features. Why not stick with an older version of the product then? Two reasons: 1) you only get customer support if you stay current and 2) if you need to work with other people using the same program older versions are often incompatible with newer versions, so if anybody is using the newest version then everybody must upgrade.
  • "The Bloatware Debate" is a technical discussion of how two separate people dissected one particular Microsoft program and found out, to their shock, that it was over 2,000% larger than it should have been. It would appear from this discussion that the cumbersome size of Microsoft programs is due not only to the continually growing clutter of useless features but it is also due to careless programming (perhaps to an even larger degree).
  • Did you realize 486's are still usable machines if you're running something other than Microsoft's latest software? For instance, Linux worked great on 486's back when they were the top of the line and amazingly enough it didn't stop working on them once the Pentiums came out. Yes, Linux has evolved since then to take advantage of more powerful computers, but the latest version of Linux will still work well on older equipment. There are also plenty of other operating systems that work equally well on machines that Microsoft has abandoned support for. Don't let your old equipment gather dust - older machines make great IP Masquerading routers (which allow you to connect multiple computers to the internet at once using only one phone line or cable modem) or great machines for checking email and chatting online. If you can't use your older equipment yourself, rest assured that somebody out there (such as your local school) could put it to very good use. Don't write it off because Windows doesn't run on it.
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